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Council endorses new site for Japanese garden

Media release

5 August 2014

Council endorses new site for Japanese garden

Auckland Council’s Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee today endorsed a proposal to re-establish the Fukuoka Friendship Garden in Western Springs Park.

Timing and implementation will be subject to budget considerations as part of the Long-term Plan 2015-2025 process.

The recommendation was made by the Fukuoka Friendship Garden Steering Group, established earlier this year and tasked with planning the future of the garden.

Steering Group Chair Councillor Cathy Casey says agreeing a new site is a major milestone for the project and is the result of careful consideration of a number of sites.

“We have recommended a site at Western Springs as the future home of the Fukuoka Friendship Garden and are delighted to have council support.

“This recommendation follows consideration of a long list of potential and suggested sites and a robust assessment criteria.

“We also welcome representatives from the Waitemata Local Board onto the steering committee – as the decision-makers for Western Springs Park, they are an important partner in this project,” she said.

The site assessment criteria included suitability to develop and maintain a Japanese garden; landscape characteristics; impact on the rest of the park; security and access.

Friends of Fukuoka Friendship Garden representative Lee Elliott says it is pleased with progress on the garden site selection.

“The site endorsed by the committee today is close to the original garden and will enable a new garden to be established for all to see and enjoy.

“We consider it to be an excellent site and it has the Friends’ full support and look forward to the direct involvement of the Fukuoka City Greenery Department, as it is integral to the successful restoration of the garden and restoration of the sister city relationship,” says Mr Elliott.

He says the community group has had its faith in the committee and council affirmed by the positive working partnerships developed through this first phase of the project.

Ends

Notes for editors

• The next step for the Fukuoka Friendship Garden Steering Committee will be to report to the Strategy and Finance Committee on 21 August to seek funding for the design phase.

• Fukuoka Friendship Garden Steering group is made up of nine members: three councillors, two members of the Independent Maori Statutory Board, two representatives from the Waitemata Local Board and two representatives from the Friends of Fukuoka Friendship Garden.

• The Steering Group was established earlier this year and tasked with reporting back to council’s Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee in August with a recommended location, concept design and indicative cost for re-establishing the garden.

• Potential locations were put forward by elected members, council officers, community groups, and the media. A robust assessment criteria was developed and applied to all potential locations.

• At this point, it was also confirmed that locations outside of the former Auckland City Council boundary would not be assessed, as the garden was originally gifted to Auckland City Council.


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